2010 Stanley Cup finals: Did officials miss a high-stick on Briere?

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When you see a score like 7-4, it’s difficult to imagine that a controversial call really could have made a difference. Whether it would have made a difference or not, it looks like the referees missed a high-sticking penalty in the third period. As you can see from this video capture, Duncan Keith caught Danny Briere with a high stick.

 
Briere started bleeding almost immediately, which means that the infraction could have been a double-minor penalty. If my memory serves me correctly, the score was 5-3 Chicago at the time of that missed penalty. I always preach against the practice of “replacement” (in other words, saying, “if this person wasn’t injured, the team would have won” because there’s a domino effect with those kind of things. Let’s just move on.) so it’s unsafe to assume that the Flyers could have mounted a comeback.brierebloodied.jpg

Still, you never know with hockey and momentum. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, for one, thought it was a blunder.

“I thought it was a penalty. At first glance, I almost thought it was intentional. The puck wasn’t even around,” Laviolette said. “Looking at it again, it should have been a four-minute penalty. You have to be in control of your stick out there. Dangerously close to a severe eye injury.”

“They told me that it was a follow-through on the puck. I’m not sure I understood the call. I thought it should have been a four-minute penalty.”

On the other hand, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville pointed out that the Flyers probably got away with a high stick on Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell.

“I think Soupy might have had the same high stick and he was cut too. Apples and oranges,” Quenneville said. “At the end of the day, it probably came out in the wash.”

Some might say it was a makeup non-call, but either way it did look like a mistake. What do you think? Should it have been a penalty, a double-minor or nothing at all? Let us know in the comments.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.

Islanders believe Boyle should be suspended for hit before OT goal

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Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.

In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.

Many believe that hit was legal:

The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.

You’re not going to believe this, but the Lightning disagree.

Boyle clearly didn’t receive a penalty on that sequence, yet one would imagine that the league will at least take a look at that hit.

Lightning take dramatic OT win vs. Islanders, go up 2-1 in series

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Brian Boyle was part of the fight before Game 3 even started … and then he ended it in overtime.

In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.

This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.

Also fitting? Boyle landed a big hit on Thomas Hickey, the guy who sidelined Jonathan Drouin for a chunk of this contest.

That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:

(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)

Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.

In some ways, this win feels like a microcosm of the Lightning’s season. They keep getting hit in the mouth with injuries and near-injuries, yet they just won’t stay down.

The Islanders saw three leads disappear in this contest, but one would think that they won’t roll over, either.